29 Mar 2018 14:45

Gazprom cleared to issue up to $1 bln in yen bonds, offering more likely in 2019 - Kruglov

MOSCOW. March 29 (Interfax) - Gazprom has been cleared to issue the equivalent of up to $1 billion in yen-denominated bonds, although a placement is likely to be delayed until 2019, the Russian gas giant's deputy head, Andrei Kruglov, told reporters.

"We've received clearance from Japan Bank for International Cooperation for the yen project," he said.

"We're dealing with the paperwork to issue the equivalent of up to $1 billion in yen [bonds]. [A placement] is likely to happen not this year - we'll delay it until next year," Kruglov said.

Kruglov said another Eurobond issue was also possible. "We'll look at volumes. In actual fact the reason we planned two bond issues [Gazprom at the start of 2018 planned to offer 750 million euros and 750 million Swiss francs in bonds] was that everybody was expecting rates to go up, which did not in the end happen. The market is currently a lot worse that it was when we placed the bonds. In my opinion both placements were very successful and timely. We'll see what the situation is further," Kruglov said.

A source said earlier that Gazprom was next planning to tap the Eurobond market in the middle of June.

Regarding free cash flow, Kruglov said: "We expect this to be positive in 2017 and 2018."